Helping girls make their dreams a reality

Most girls are not born into a fairytale lifestyle, but girls of color, in particular, are born at a greater disadvantage than other populations. That’s why Cinderella Foundation cares so much about them. Girls of color experience higher rates of school discipline and lower high school graduation rates than white, non-Latino students. Racial and gender stereotypes often undermine their academic success before they’ve even entered middle school. Schools that serve our target population tend to have fewer resources than schools in predominately white communities, and while after school programming may promote academic and social advancement, studies have shown that girls of color have limited access to these beneficial programs.

Read Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity.

The report was developed by the National Women’s Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. to provide insight into the unique barriers that restrict opportunities for girls of color.

The First Cinderella Girl

In 2002, Diane Stevens, owner of Cole Stevens Salon and Day Spa, witnessed the challenges facing young girls of color in the DC Metropolitan area first-hand when she was introduced to Jade, a thirteen-year old girl. Jade was struggling with low self-esteem, damaged hair, and poor grades. Her mother had a history of drug addiction, and her father was absent. Diane instantly felt a calling to help the girl.

Diane knew that feeling cherished is an important part of feeling confident. She spent the day pampering her new friend at the salon. That first visit turned into a recurring appointment, and for eight months, Diane styled Jade’s hair without charge, talking with her, listening, and reminding her that Jesus has a plan for her life.

Under Diane’s mentorship, Jade blossomed. She joined the Pom Pom Squad at her school. Her grades soared. She was happier and more hopeful than ever. And, of course, her hair was a huge hit at school! Today, Jade is an accomplished and self-reliant college student with a bright future ahead of her.

Diane knew there were more girls like Jade needed her help and support; She committed to donating spa services to girls like Jade. In no time, Cole Stevens Salon became the backdrop for an extensive catalog of educational and cultural enrichment programs, and Cinderella Foundation was born.

*Name has been altered to protect the individual’s privacy.

Cinderella Foundation Today

Today, the non-profit 501(C)(3) organization founded by Diane offers girls of color opportunities to develop interpersonal and professional skills through programs in grooming, academic enrichment, and social etiquette training. The girls build a network of mentors to encourage their growth for years to come.

In providing sustained, positive support for DC Metropolitan area girls, Cinderella Foundation is building a community of confident leaders who will go on to break down barriers and inspire future generations. They may not be wearing glass slippers, but they’re breaking the glass ceiling.

Our Mission

The Cinderella Foundation is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization designed to empower girls, throughout the DC Metropolitan area, to realize their God-given potential. The foundation is dedicated to fostering and strengthening a keen sense of self-esteem, communication and mentoring through grooming, academic enrichment and social etiquette training.